Good evening folks
If I look out of the window right now I’d be greeted by a blanket of white. Yes, it’s snowed in the UK which means…Yes, the country has officially ground to a halt!
I’m actually writing this intro on Wednesday eve as, hoping that this snowy scenario eases up before tomorrow night, I’m off to watch ‘Thee Oh Sees’ in Manchester and can’t wait. Been wanting to see them for such a long time BUT enough about me…
Tonight, we have the pleasure of having Marcus Freeman aka @thebrutesupplyco answering our questions and it’s a doozy folks. ‘The Brute Supply Co’ runs with the tagline “for gents who like to get life done with a bit of style” and I think that’s one mission I can get behind. Marcus embodies this with his style plus, with a Dad that has soundbites like “as long as you have a solid pair of jeans and boots you’ll be fine” it would seem Marcus is definitely a person to hear some listenings from.
MEET THE MAN BEHIND THE MENSWEAR
NAME: Marcus Freeman
LOCATION: Born and raised in London, United Kingdom, now in Amsterdam, Netherlands
OCCUPATION: Digital Marketing / Creative Strategy
1. So Why Instagram?
Thrown into the world of social during my sandwich year of uni back in 2013, I didn’t have a scooby about what I was getting myself into. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, it was just alien, until the CEO said to me that social is going to be key in the future. I took this to heart and saw an opening, a creative release and multiple platforms where communities from all over the world could come together. I’ve always been interested in photography, design and production, so I enrolled at night school for photography in central London.
At this point I was working a contract as a digital content manager for a well-known British department store. My photography skills increased and I thought I’d start a channel focusing on motorcycles, I ended up going around London on my lunch breaks snapping pics of classic, Triumphs, custom build Hondas, Harleys and any cool bike I could find.
There was no purpose to the channel, it was just for sheer enjoyment and love of classic bikes n style. I even managed to squeeze in a shoot for a new motorcycle brand. (I went along to the shoot and winged it. It was an awesome experience) I saw Instagram as a place where I could create, connect and share passions with the global communities.
2. Why Denim, Boots, Workwear, Ruggedness?
As a kid growing up I was taught how to be efficient and keep things to a minimal, I think this was my parent’s way of keeping me from being confused…Cheers guys. I feel my style was heavily influenced by my parents from a young age, and I was always taught to look for things that last. This meant they were to be of a certain hard wearing quality and comfy fit. I’m guessing this had nothing to do with style and was probably more of a financial safety net for my parents, not having to keep buying new clothes for me only so I could wreck and stain them. So this is where the ruggedness factor comes into play, I’m older, wiser and have my own individual style, so it’s nice to build my own look around staple products that I care about. Workwear has always been a style I have great appreciation for. Classic construction with stylish purpose, It’s as simple as that.
I remember my dad always telling me as long as you have a solid pair of jeans and boots you’ll be fine. I guess he was right, I’m in awe of clothes that last a lifetime and are not attached to a season. It’s the way denim is made, looks and feels that hits the spot for me. Denim products are one of those few that can visually tell a story over time as I’m sure you know and it only gets better and better. Timeless style goes hand in hand with my own beliefs of sustainability and quality.
3. What are your thoughts on the rise in popularity of “Instafashion” and the community it is creating?
Instagram offers the perfect platform for discovery and style, it’s never been easier to see how products look, sit, wear and mature.
Quality goods always have heritage, a story to tell and a niche element that makes them that extra bit special. I squeeze the most out of Instagram when using it as an educational platform to learn from others within the fashion and communities of interest. I can easily follow brands, keep up to date with creators and just overall connect with likeminded people. All in all, Instafashion has pretty much revolutionised how an individual gathers inspiration and makes better decisions. Instagram is all in all an awesome story telling vehicle for a brand, their products, their advocates and their community.
4. Top 3 brands to shop and why?
This is probably one of the toughest questions as I’m only accustom to a few staple brands, and there are so many awesome ones out there that are so strong for different reasons.
RedWing – You can’t go wrong with Red Wing Shoes. The classic Moc Toe Silhouettes are as iconic as McQueen to Triumph, Bond to Aston Martin and Tommy Shelby to a newsboy cap. It’s a product that will be around in the same shape and form for hundreds of years to come. It’s one of those brands you form an emotional bond with.
Carhartt – It’s the versatility of the brand that hits the sweet spot for me. From a workwear heritage to a brand that can be worn for a multitude of occasions.
Pike Brothers – The high quality product matched with an affordable price. You can’t go wrong with their 1963 Roamer Denimes.
5. Where’s your favourite place to shop these brands?
@concrete_matter located in Amsterdam is my one stop shop for all quality menswear, workwear and vintage style. I’m pretty close with the guys running the show there so it’s easy for me to stop by, pick up some quality goods, have a quick coffee and a good ol’ chin wag then be on my way. If I’m going to be perfectly honest, I’ll usually do a whip round of the branded stores directly, try on the product and most likely buy online as it’s more convenient for me. If I’m around London I’ll always stop by @sonofastag for a quick brows and check out the denims, but if not I’ll be scrolling through online stores of the brands.
6. When did you decide to voice and share your love for your threads on social media?
I started using Instagram seriously when I entered the working world of fashion, I saw it as an incredible tool to deploy personal style, interests, creativity and tell stories. To me, fashion is completely subjective to the individual, for instance, one of the key pillars I base my own style on is comfort and functionality, It may seem like a simple thing to do, but I promote what I like…and that’s what I like. I mentioned earlier that I enrolled in a Photography course, I knew I had to get more creative if I wanted to express my own style and share my perspective on specific interests.
I cleaned all the images off my old motorcycle account and let my love for style, apparel and anything I perceived as cool take primary position, and kicked off @thebrutesupplyco. So far so good, I’ve found myself building up an awesome network within a very cool welcoming community.
7. What’s the secret behind your great images; Who takes them? When are they taken? How do you capture the magic your followers enjoy so much?
This is a pretty tough question to answer as I like to think that I put some effort into my images. I really enjoy being behind the lens and shooting myself. It’s early days for @thebrutesupplyco The images that I feature in are usually taken by a good friend/colleague of mine @brubrubru or my lovely other half @hannaliindholm . I mentioned earlier on that I enrolled in photography night school, this really fuelled my passion for capturing what I was seeing. The images are usually taken when shooting product and lifestyle shots for @concrete_matter or when just out and about having fun during the weekends.
8. What feeds do you like to follow and check in on? Who should we check out?
There are a mixture of creators I like to regularly check stay tuned into, each one has something in particular that I like, and also feel I can gain great learnings from.
The duo behind @pandco create some awesome designs and have a great eye for style @_mrclark & @_mrtimms
@johanmalik80 – an awesome feed and just a damn cool guy
@thedenimmind : I’ve learnt a lot from dropping in and out of conversation with Mathieu, I think he’s found a good balance between classic ruggedness with a street twist
@sirjoms – cool pictures, always on point with his product selection
@grantevans_ : he seems to be an awesome guy, great style and has great photography / storytelling abilities.
@fort_box_ @vinyl66 @cuffington and @thedileathers are to name a few more
9. What tips would you give new starters on Instagram to help them get there feed off the ground and successful?
Just be as authentic as possible and communicate your own personality/style through the content and captions you’re sharing. It’s all completely subjective at the end of the day. It’s ok to pull inspiration from many different channels and use the learnings for your own benefit. Have a laugh and try to always smile in the pictures.
10. And Lucky Last, You’re going to be stranded on a desert island, you can take 1 outfit (4 items) and 1 drink ONLY with you.
What would they be? Who made them? Why are you taking them?
Urban Industries Premium Basic White T-Shirt
Grim Tim Dry Black Comfort Selvage
Red Wing Shoes 8103
Chupsocks or Red Wing own brand socks (any whacky colour will do)
Drink: Lifetime supply of English breakfast tea (Yorkshire Tea to be exact)
Yorkshire Tea? Marcus, you diamond! I mean, what a great write-up to that point but the drink choice takes you into the stratosphere my friend 🙌 I know it’s early days for the ‘…Brute Supply Co’ but your feed is really great and you can really tell that you put time into your shots, like it man! Thanks for your time, cracking read.
All the rest of you, keep those peepers peeled for further updates on the clobber-casts, the new website and the plethora of blogs that are coming your way!